Basic Drilling Technology

This program will be delivered virtually through PetroAcademy™ providing participants with the knowledge they need at their convenience. All learning activities are self-paced and can be completed at any time. PetroAcademy™ FAQ


LEVEL: Basic

DURATION: Approximately 50 hours of self-paced work


DESIGNED FOR:  Petroleum and production engineers, completion engineers, geoscientists, managers, technical supervisors, service and support personnel, entry level drilling engineers, drilling operations personnel, drilling office support staff.

ABOUT THIS COURSE: This course provides a fundamental overview of the design, planning and implementation associated with drilling an oil and gas well. It is beneficial to all parties directly and indirectly involved in the well drilling process.

The program is comprised of PetroAcademy™ Skill Modules, each averaging approximately 4 hours of self-paced online learning activies.

This course is comprised of the following skill modules (approx. 4 hours each)


This module provides an overview of how various well objectives contribute to the understanding of the asset. Key stakeholders and the activities that impact the well plan are discussed. Also explained in this module are why well objectives change over the life of the asset and the commonly used key performance metrics for the drilling discipline.




  • Identify stakeholders in an effort to define well objectives
  • Explain how various well objectives contribute to understanding of the asset
  • Identify activities focused on achieving well objectives and how they may impact the well plan
  • Explain why well objectives change over the life of the asset
  • Identify commonly employed performance metrics for the drilling discipline


This skill module is the basis for drilling engineering and well planning. It provides an overview of geologic formations and key characteristics which the well planner must incorporate into their design considerations. Included is an overview of petroleum geology along with descriptions of both conventional and unconventional petroleum systems, structures and traps, formation fluids, and rock properties. The relationship between pore pressure and fracture gradient is explained and their application to well design considerations. Provided is a brief description of fluid selections and properties, casing and cementing operations, wellbore stability, and well control. Leak‐off tests and/or formation integrity tests are discussed and how they are conducted. An overview of formation evaluation techniques is also addressed, including mudlogging, wireline LWD logging, coring, and testing with the data collected during each activity. An overview of types of drilling rigs and their most suitable application coupled with operational risks is also provided.




  • The basis of well planning and how geology and geologic characteristics affect the well plan
  • How pore pressure and fracture pressure are critical in well planning and active drilling operations
  • Where to source the expertise and information required to form the basis of the well plan
  • How to utilize rock types and properties, formation fluid types and properties, and other geoscience information appropriately in well design and operational decisions including: fluid selection, casing points, cementing operations, well control procedures, and risk assessment
  • The significance of the leak‐off test and formation integrity test data and how to support operational decisions
  • What formation evaluation methods are available and how to actively utilize them to support well planning and real time decision‐making
  • What type of drilling rig is best suited for a particular environment and critical concerns when operating in that particular environment

This module addresses roller cone and fixed cutter bit design features and their associated hydraulics programs at a core level.




  • Identify design features and selection criteria for roller cone bit types
  • Explain failure modes for roller cone bits and how this information can be used to improve performance
  • Identify design features and selection criteria for fixed cutter bit types
  • Explain failure modes for fixed cutter bits and how this information can be used to improve performance
  • Explain tool system options which allow wellbore enlargement to a diameter greater than the internal drift diameter of a previously installed casing string
  • Discuss situations where this may be required
  • Explain rotary coring bit options
  • Explain the relationship between cost per foot of a bit run and the cost of a bit, its rate of penetration, footage drilled, and the cost of the drilling operation
  • Determine optimum time to pull a used bit based upon its cost per foot trend
  • Balance competing objectives for the drilling hydraulics system
  • Maintain ECD below fracture pressure of open hole
  • Select nozzle sizes for adequate bit hydraulics
  • Maintain operating pressure and total pump power demands within rig capabilities

This module explains the various drill string components and their purpose. The module also explains the performance properties of drill strings, how to diagnose drill string mechanisms and steps to prevent drill string failures.




  • Identify drill string components and their suppliers
  • Explain the purposes of the various drill string components
  • Determine drill string performance properties
  • Diagnose drill string mechanisms
  • Identify steps to prevent drill string failures

Casing is pipe that goes into the wellbore. Casing stays in the well because the outside of the casing is cemented into the earth, providing wellbore integrity. In other words, the casing’s primary purpose is to keep the wellbore from caving in or fracturing, to keep unwanted fluids from entering the wellbore, and to keep the desired fluids (hydrocarbons) from leaving the borehole at undesirable places. In this module, you will study four topics:

  • Handling Casing: This topic introduces the process of getting the casing to the rig floor. It explains the concept of stacking casing in reverse order, numbering casing, and the types of casing you will see at an oil rig.
  • Rigging up Casing Running Equipment: This topic overviews the running casing checklist, Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and equipment used for setting casing in a borehole. It explains the purpose and function of spiders, elevators, power tongs, and the stabbing board.
  • Making up the Shoe Track: This topic introduces the shoe track and some of the other pieces of a casing string. It explains the purpose of the float shoe, guide shoe, float collar, thread locking compound, and centralizers.
  • Running Casing: This topic provides an in-depth explanation of running the casing into the borehole. It describes the "dance"—the set of steps and movements of the casing crew that help to get the casing in the borehole quickly, efficiently, and safely.



  • Describe the steps of running casing, from getting the casing to the rig to running the casing into the borehole
  • Determine safe working practices while running casing on a rig
  • Identify responsibilities of and organize all wellsite personnel for normal casing running operations
  • Identify the purpose of the basic running casing equipment and key steps used to run casing

Drilling fluids impact all aspects of the drilling operation, including drilling the formations, maintaining a clean and stable wellbore, gathering data from the wellbore, and maximizing productivity of the hydrocarbon resource. Proper selection of a drilling fluid can allow optimum performance in each of these areas. Fluid processing solids control allows cost-effective maintenance of fluid properties. This module addresses these topics at a core level.




  • Identify functions of drilling fluids
  • Explain fluid types and their selection criteria
  • Identify fluid properties, how they are measured, and additives used to control them
  • Explain benefits of solids control, solids control equipment function, and system configuration

Directional drilling may be considered the "intentional, controlled deflection of a wellbore to intersect pre-determined targets." In the early days when wooden derricks were erected so close that they touched each other, wellbores that were believed to be vertical occasionally intersected nearby wellbores, proving that the wells were in fact deviating from vertical. This was not directional drilling because this behavior was neither intentional nor controlled. Modern directional drilling is based on an understanding of the reservoir and how the wellbore should be constructed for its proper placement in the reservoir for optimum productivity.




  • Describe the objectives of directional drilling
  • Recognize trajectory design options and selection criteria for given surface and downhole requirements
  • Clarify trajectory measurement and wellbore position calculation techniques and limitations

Casing is pipe that goes into the wellbore and stays in the well because the outside of the casing is cemented to the earth which provides wellbore integrity. In other words, casing’s primary purpose is to keep the wellbore from caving in or fracturing, to keep unwanted fluids from entering the wellbore, and to keep the desired fluids (hydrocarbons) from leaving the borehole at undesirable places.


In this module, you will study five topics:

  • The Drilling Process: This topic introduces the process of drilling an oil well, showing how casing, mud, and cement are used
  • API/ISO Standards: This topic overviews the naming conventions for casing. It explains how to identify casing by its properties
  • The Casing Manufacturing Processes: This topic introduces the two major methods of making casing, Seamless and Electric Resistance Weld (ERW). It explains the processes by which both types of casing are made, from generating the steel to the formation of the finished casing products
  • Casing Properties and Dimensions: This topic provides an in-depth explanation of each casing property. It describes, in detail, each dimension listed in the API/ISO naming convention
  • Casing Strings: This topic overviews the four casing strings—conductor, surface, intermediate, and production—and how these casing strings work together in an oil field well




  • Describe the purpose of casing in an oilfield well
  • State how joints of casing are connected together
  • Recognize the steps in the process for drilling and cementing casing in an oil/gas well
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the API/ISO casing naming convention
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to casing produced with seamless and ERW properties
  • Identify casing descriptions and dimensions and, when appropriate, describe the correlation between them
  • Identify where the four different casing applications are in a wellbore schematic

This module presents an overview of the planning and execution required to achieve the quality primary cementing of well casing strings to successfully isolate a wellbore’s geological column, including the well’s productive zone(s). Equipment and cement displacement practices are illustrated and described as well as methods to assess the resultant cement sheath surrounding casing following a cementing job. Preliminary lab work to formulate primary cement blends is described. And, various methods are presented in the remedial repair of poorly cemented zones which can lead to life of the well production problems. Several different cement squeeze techniques are explained and recommended practices are described.




  • The manufacturing processes to blend composite materials that make up oilfield cement
  • The various uses of additives to modify cement properties
  • The cementing tools at the surface and downhole and the related cement displacement process to achieve a quality primary cement job to isolate a casing string
  • The casing cement evaluation tools and methods to assess cement job quality
  • The various practices that comprise options to attempt repair of primary cementing jobs that are referred to as cement squeeze operations
  • How to calculate typical casing string cement volume requirements
  • How to evaluate a cement bond log and make recommendations


Performance Improvement illustrates several process, organization, and leadership approaches and tools utilized to make drilling more effective and efficient. Activities are identified in both the planning phase and the operational phase. Opportunities are targeted that focus on making individual tasks safer, more efficient, and more consistent and, where appropriate, on moving tasks off the critical path of the rig to shorten well delivery time. Critical leadership and team skills are reviewed to reinforce desired behaviors and establish working culture. Finally, nonproductive time mechanisms, including stuck pipe prevention, are addressed in detail with case studies.




Manage the performance improvement process

  • Well planning optimization
  • Well operations streamlining
  • Emergency response


Lead the performance improvement process

  • Effective working culture
  • Supportive behaviors
  • Appropriate incentives


Avoid non‐productive time

This is an introductory module that reviews the basic concepts of personnel relationships at the well site, supplier management, technical and HSE inspections at the well site, third party contracting, and logistics pertaining to the well construction operation.



  • Explain the basic objectives and working relationships between operators, drilling contractors, and service companies at the well site
  • Describe the purposes of rig and service company inspection programs as they pertain to equipment, personnel, and HSE adherence at the well site
  • Describe the basic process of rig contracting and acquisition
  • Describe “third party” rig service contracting
  • Identify goals to supply drilling rig operations with the necessary tools, equipment, and services as required

Well Site Management Part 1:

Logistics, Communication and Safety Core


Well Site Management Part 2:

Planning, Operations and Continuous Improvement Core


Rigsite Logistics Management focuses on the management and administrative functions of the well site supervisor. These include supervision and quality control of the data collection process during daily operations, ensuring drilling contractor, drilling fluids, directional drilling, and other service company‐provided information. Discussions also address planning and prioritizing work, along with various work controls such as JSAs, Permit to Work, 24‐hr and 72‐hr lookaheads, pre‐job safety meetings, toolbox talks, effective handovers, SIMOPS, and stop work authority. Other activities outlined include managing supplier relationships by communicating work requirements and schedules, approving invoices.




Manage wellsite logistics
– Supplier management
– Data collection and reporting
– People movements

Manage wellsite operations
– Prioritize and schedule work
– Supervise task preparation and execution
– Control workflow with JSAs, Permit to Work, SIMOPS


Implement scheduling, lookaheads, handovers

This module specifically addresses the basis for understanding and preventing stuck pipe situations during drilling operations. It provides a
general overview of geological formations and how these formations can become unstable during a drilling operation. Likewise, drilling fluids are discussed and how they can impact the stability of the wellbore. This module also covers the mechanisms for pipe sticking, how to diagnose stuck pipe situations, and how to implement recovery efforts. Information is also given on how long to devote to fishing efforts. Lastly, this module covers drill string operating limits and gives calculations on how much pull can be on the drill string.



  • The contributing factors to wellbore stability and how pore pressure and fracture pressure change during the drilling operation
  • The primary requirements of the drilling fluid and what the desired performance fluid properties should be
  • All the factors and forces that affect hole cleaning efforts within vertical and horizontal wells
  • How to diagnose stuck pipe situations by determining the specific sticking mechanism and how to implement recovery efforts
  • About the different industry fishing tools available and how they function
  • How to make good decisions about how much time a drilling operation should devote to a fishing operation
  • The limits of a drill string and how much can be pulled


Complete the registration form below, and our Customer Service team will process and send your confirmation and invoice, along with details on how to access course content.